The Obama 2012 re-election campaign kicks off this weekend, with a new slogan: FORWARD
Despite the fact that the Obama campaign as already set a record for re-election fundraising events. Well, set a record doesn't really capture it. The campaign has already held more re-election fundraising events than his five predecessors, combined. Web Link
Yes, the President who says his top priority is jobs (at least this week it is) has a bigger priority. He has certainly prioritized his re-election effort higher than any President in recent memory. The President is traveling the country on Air force One, and everywhere he goes his campaign organizes campaign fundraisers. But that is not a re-election campaign, according to Obama 2012.
The campaign has selected, apparently after much thought, a slogan. It is one word: FORWARD
Now, what does the word forward mean? The dictionary says the adverb or verb form means "to or toward what is ahead or in front, or to help onward"
In other words, to keep moving, in the same direction, not changing course.
What will we get if we do not change course? In 2009 the day Obama took office, average gas price was $1.83 a gallon, this past month, it reached $3.84 a gallon. Let's move FORWARD. In 2016, at the rate we are going, we will exceed $8 a gallon for gasoline.
The unemployment rate stood at 8.3% in February 2009, and after peaking at 10%, it has come back down the official unemployment rate in February of this year was 8.3%. The unemployment rate, despite green jobs initiatives, stimulus, temporary tax credits, unemployment extensions, and all variety of other additional spending, has not fallen. The official rate has remained above 8% for a record 38 straight months.
But this doesn't tell the whole story. When Obama took office, the labor force participation rate was 65.7%,and when the recession officially ended in June of that year, the number was the same. As of Feb 2009, the labor force participation rate had plummeted to 63.7%, the most rapid decline in U.S. history. That means that under President Obama nearly 5 million Americans have left the workforce - not even looking for work. But, hey FORWARD, right? Web Link
At the rate we are going, by 2016, the only way to get the unemployment number down will be to decrease the labor force participation rate. Job creation picked up last year, but it has stagnated again. If we counted the people who have been removed from the official labor force, unemployment is over 11%. Fact is, we have over 80 million people in this country (over the age of 16) in a population of 313 million who have no job.
Let's look at other facts. More Americans are in poverty today than at any time since Census began keeping poverty records over 50 years ago. Last year, real economic growth totaled 1.7%. But, again, forward. We will bring people out of poverty, when? Not by 2016, on the course we are on. Not at that rate of economic growth.
But this President has nothing to run on, except forward. Time for a change of course.